In Honor – Willis Conover – Memorial Concert … “Time for Jazz” – Hungary

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Swing and Big Band all in One!

An awesome press news was lately announced at the Hollán Ernő Street on the press conference at the

Budapest Jazz Club.

To-day, Willis Conover voice is history, but for many was one of the most famous in the world on the radio band Voice of America hitting jazz music which was one of the most popular and influential shows. To commemorate the presenter absence who went ahead 20 years ago a superb concert will be held at May – 2017. The theme of the showtime will be “Voice of Millions” which is true word-by-word.

On stage beside other distinguished musicians and singers will be hosted by Levente Szörényi and the Budapest Jazz Orchestra.

The Hungarian audience will be lucky enough to see/hear three times in Hungary at three locations in 2017: May, 24. Palace of Arts – Budapest, May, 27. Kölcsey Center – Debrecen, and June, 2. Kodály Center – Pécs. These venues were especially chosen as sites of its professional acoustics to have the perfect experience said producer – Örs Szörényi. Added, the tickets to all three locations are out on sale already through the Internet.

“The Voice of America” broadcasting on shortwave radio started its show as “Jazz Hour” which was launched on January, 6. 1955. He was the man with velvety baritone, clarity, speaking slowly,  the unique editor of broadcasting American jazz music. As Levente Szörényi expressed: Q.: “Living behind the Iron Curtain, the European jazz musicians and enthusiasts in these broadcasts could meet the standard American jazz performers and cassette tape recorded and analyzed the topics, harmonies and rhythms. In the late ’60s,’70s and ’80s listened regularly to Conover updates of his visited jazz festivals. Appromaximetly, 30 million people worldwide listened to his presentations broadcasted over the Voice of America and every night he welcomed his music fans by saying … “Time for Jazz”.

Actually the idea to fold, organize a concert in saluting the memory of Willis Conover was by Levente Szörényi about two years ago, said at the conference co-producer and artistic director Béla Piri.  It also emerged in the beginning to be the “host” Budapest Jazz Orchestra providing the musical basis and also a question to whether have the program splitted in two parts.  Finally made the decision of having the show in two parts.

The concert will shoot off with really true Conover style by to-day’s one of the best in the European jazz industry  and world-famous – Joan Faulkner. Completely authentic medium, swing and jazz evergreens interpreter, attended an American gospel choir, brings unique vibration, but also is in the house of repertoire: jazz, blues, soul, pop range of motion.

At the second part of the show rolls on with Levente Szörényi’s songs from the era of the Illés and Fonográf hits. These songs will come to life within the big band orchestration. Szörényi – Kossuth Prize-winning composer, performer, beat and country songs composer, as well as the 30’s, 40’s style jazz’s sounds came alive on stage. For sure these songs will be a real highlight of the evening to the former fans of that era.

Levente Szörényi open his memoryline by saying: Q.: “When the Voice of America launched in 1955 by Willis Conover, I was just ten years old. At home during the evening listened closely to great broadcasts because. It is only because at the time being the wall had ears! To that extent caught and preserved so that radiated throughout my life. At the Pest Kálmán high-school before realising somehow brought together a trio, and later in the Mediterranean ensemble as well we were playing jazz. I would like to commemorate this early impression. Wish to play songs which are not forced to have it with a Big Band and also performing as soloists, which would take place in the second part of the event. A surprise is not a surprise when telling something about it, anyway just whispering sometime that in the second part of the show will be conducting the band of one of my favorite heard tune during my high-school years which was a country number – Count Basie – „Splanky”.

The domestic swing – “Duke” Bálint Gajer said he wasn’t born yet in the sixties, and have not listened to jazz, but for him the first time he got acquainted with music was as being a drum player and only much later met this genre. Then he switched standing up from the drum and came in front of the stage in 2009, winning the III. “Jazzy” Jazz Song Contest receiving  the title of “Best Male Vocalist” award Jazz singer-performer. Graduated in 2010 at the Franz Liszt Music Academy and became decisive for Frank Sinatra, and in the era of the music. This show will be time capsule with a bit of the dance music from way back. Also previously worked with the Budapest Jazz Orchestra has and will swing again, reach its deserved place in the world of today’s music. In November, this year was released his second independent album, the “Swing’ N ‘Pop” which is a real emotional roller coaster. The songs talk about love, the classic Latin beats of swing songs and definitely pop songs will entertain the audience.

The orchestra’s mission in addition to contemporary jazz, big band music cultivate a relationship with the genre’s roots. The aim with this series of concert is to pass on to the young generation gain a professional experience of the past era’s music. Although the word “jazz” is not for everyone as the term to “green light”, but upon recent years can observe that the great American singers, big band concerts also give voice to jazz.  That is to say, a jazz is like a symphony in classical music. There are several ways and is able to speak to the audience, said by Gábor Kollman – saxophonist – Director of the Budapest Jazz Orchestra.

The host for the evenings will be Ákos Kőszegi –Jászai Mari-winning actor.

Update and snaps by Aggie Reiter

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